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Far East Creative Expressions Celebrates Student Creativity

For Immediate Release — December 26, 2012 | Pacific
: Public Affairs Officer | DSN: 644-5657  |  Cell: +81-(0)80-2703-0632
Attribution: James Kemper: DoDEA Pacific Student Press Corps.

EDITORS/PRODUCERS PLEASE NOTE: The DoDEA Pacific Student Press Corps. is composed of student journalists working on special assignment for the DoDEA Pacific Public Affairs Office or in partnership with the Defense Media Activity. SPC members are currently enrolled DoDEA Pacific high school students skilled in journalism, photography, and video production. Please send media queries to the DoDEA Pacific Public Affairs Officer for coordination.

Far East Creative Expressions Celebrates Student Creativity

TOKYO — Over 100 DoDEA Pacific student artists attended the 2012 Far East Creative Expressions visual arts festival to find inspiration and make works of their own. These students came from all over the Pacific to showcase their talents as the future artists of their generation.

The four day event began Dec. 10 with students from all 12 DoDEA Pacific high schools. The students and teachers had to apply and be selected by the event organizers to take part in the festival.

The theme “Envision, Explore, and Express” inspired creativity throughout the week and offered the participating students a meaningful framework to conceptualize and create art within the medium of their choice.

The students were divided up into major and minor classes based on their interests and skills. Drawing, photography, printmaking, sculpting, 3D-design, oil pastels, watercolor, acrylic, ceramics, and jewelry fabrication were among the courses offered and led during the event by 18 DoDEA Pacific teachers and four Temple University professors.

Throughout the festival, students worked quickly to learn and apply new skills and craft a finished art piece derived from a concept for the student art show. The students drew upon the atmosphere and landscape of Tokyo to inspire their works and all participants had to manage their projects carefully to finish in time.

Previously, Far East Creative Expressions was held in Onna Village, Okinawa. The change in location this year marks a new partnership with Temple University and provided a different experience for all those involved.

According to DoDEA Pacific Activities Coordinator Todd Kirby, this year’s festival was co-developed with Temple University located in downtown Tokyo, “The art program at Temple University is under the auspices of the renowned Tyler School of Art on the main campus of Temple in Philadelphia, Pa.” Kirby explained that the genesis of the partnership was to foster greater capacity for students and teachers to go beyond the classroom and apply their talents in real world situations.

Student Jairun Armendariz from Edgren HS in Misawa, Japan attended last year and welcomed the change, “I thought Tokyo helped give different inspiration for my artwork compared to Okinawa.”

According to Shane Hernandez, an art teacher at Kinnick HS in Yokosuka, Japan and co-director for the Far East Creative Expressions festival, “Tokyo allows for a lot more opportunities so that students can create a strong concept to drive their artwork. Moreover, it’s important for students to be exposed to a world-class city that embraces the visual arts.”

Compared to years past, participants described a noticeable improvement in the event including more student involvement. Student Alysha Sellers from MC Perry HS in Iwakuni, Japan said, “Every Far East has gotten more serious each year. Students are now coming to do work rather than slack off.”

To students, the experience was a rare opportunity to take their learning to another level. “This event has been a stupendous experience,” said Yokota HS student Hunter Collins, “I was able to learn about things that wouldn’t be taught in school.”

Other students said the challenging schedule and high level of art was more physically and mentally demanding than an athletic Far East event.

Awards were presented for exemplary works and selected pieces were put on display during a public art exhibition Dec. 13 at Takanawa Community Plaza Gallery in downtown Tokyo.

2012 Far East Creative Expressions Visual Arts Festival Award Winners:

CC=curators’ choice  |  SC=students’ choice


CC Gold: Kiana Ramos, Yokota HS
CC Silver: Alexander George, Daegu HS
CC Bronze: Amber Hawkins, Kadena HS
SC: Amber Hawkins, Kadena HS


CC Gold: Silvia Dykstra, Zama American HS
CC Silver: Daniel Reed, Osan American HS
CC Bronze: Kyla Troxel, Zama American HS
SC: Silvia Dykstra, Zama American HS

Experimental Drawing

CC Gold: Kai Lee Hague, Yokota HS
CC Silver:Angel Fong, Zama American HS
CC Bronze: Sabrina Orozco, Kinnick HS
SC: Kai Lee Hague, Yokota HS

Figure Drawing

CC Gold: Ashley Cole, Kubasaki HS
CC Silver: Nichelle Lankes, Kadena HS
CC Bronze: Marissa Romero, Kubasaki HS
SC: none, combined with Illustration

Figure Drawing for Illustration

CC Gold: Amanda Anderson, Kadena HS
CC Silver: Paige Bossart, Guam HS
CC Bronze: Emily Piliz, MC Perry HS
SC: Amanda Anderson, Kadena HS

Jewelry Fabrication

CC Gold: Kathryn Dawson, EJ King HS
CC Silver: Jeremy Arrington, Guam HS
CC Bronze: Alexandria Varden, Guam HS
SC: Alexandria Varden, Guam HS

Oil Pastel

CC Gold: Stephanie Roldan, Kadena HS
CC Silver: Adrian Gaudia, Kubasaki HS
CC Bronze: Courtney Sax, Yokota HS
SC: Adrian Gaudia, Kubasaki HS

Photography 1

CC Gold: Preston Blakley, Osan American HS
CC Silver: Mindy Adams, Yokota HS
CC Bronze: Hunter Waters, Kinnick HS
SC: Preston Blakley, Osan American HS

Photography 2

CC Gold: Abigail Bissell, Kinnick HS
CC Silver: Takami Yasuhara, Seoul American HS
CC Bronze: Erin Gavl, Daegu HS
SC: Erin Gavl, Daegu HS


CC Gold: Alysha Sellers, MC Perry HS
CC Silver: Sandra Granados, MC Perry HS
CC Bronze: Katherine Truluck, EJ King HS
SC: Sandra Granados, MC Perry HS


CC Gold: Gabrielle San Pedro, Kinnick HS
CC Silver: Jennifer Rauch, Osan American HS
CC Bronze: Ashley Clement, Seoul American HS
SC: Gabrielle San Pedro, Kinnick HS


CC Gold: Jeanie Choi, Seoul American HS
CC Silver: Jenny Han, Seoul American HS
CC Bronze: Laura Weimer, Edgren HS
SC: Laura Weimer, Edgren HS

Far East Creative Expressions painting

TOKYO (13 Dec. 2012) In partnership with Temple University, the 2012 Far East Creative Expressions visual arts festival provides students opportunities to explore their skills and interests in a wide range of art disciplines including drawing, photography, printmaking, sculpting, 3D-design, oil pastels, watercolor, acrylic, ceramics, and jewelry fabrication. (DoDEA Pacific Photo/Released)

Far East Creative Expressions visual arts festival

TOKYO (13 Dec. 2012) Following the intensive art courses offered during the 2012 Far East Creative Expressions visual arts festival, selected student artwork was displayed for the  public at Takanawa Community Plaza Gallery in downtown Tokyo. (DoDEA Pacific Photo/Released)


About DoDEA Pacific Far East Activities and Athletics:
In addition to Creative Expressions, DoDEA Pacific sponsors 23 other unique Far East athletic and scholastic opportunities throughout the school year. Scholastic events include Far East Journalism, Yale Model United Nations, STEM and Research Academy, MathematicaFest, LinguaFest, and many more while athletic competition includes tennis, cheerleading, cross country, track and field, football, baseball, wrestling, among others. Far East events also include several art and music offerings such as the Film and Entertainment Arts Festival, Culinary Arts, Honor Music, Jazz Festival, etc. 

Far East events reinforce DoDEA core curriculum by providing students area-wide festivals, symposiums and competitions to showcase their creative, academic and athletic talents. The events are coordinated and managed by the DoDEA Pacific area office.

About DoDEA Pacific:
The first organized schools for the children of U.S. military personnel serving in the Pacific were established in 1946 during post-World War II reconstruction. Throughout the decades, DoD schools evolved to become a comprehensive and high-performing K-12 school system solely dedicated to educating the children of America’s heroes. Today, DoDEA Pacific’s 49 schools serve over 23,500 children of U.S. military and eligible DoD civilian personnel families stationed throughout the Pacific theater. The DoDEA Pacific teaching, administrative and school support team includes more than 3,300 full-time professionals. The schools are geographically organized into four districts: Guam, Japan, Okinawa and South Korea.

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